If the complex was open, you’d find the general manager of Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and spa sliding down the
complex’s famous Conical Thrill ride at midnight tonight.
Instead, Graeme Abbot will be asleep looking forward to the complex opening at 10am tomorrow with no limits on numbers.
“No 1-out, 1-in rule and no online booking system any more – it’s great news. The last couple of weeks have been pretty
tricky – we had to turn people away at Queen’s Birthday Weekend and they were super disappointed. It will be wonderful
to get back to ‘near normal’ trading for us”.
The complex, which sits in a village of around 1,000 residents, 90 minutes’ drive from Christchurch attracts more than
500,000 people per year, has always focused on the domestic market.
“80% of our customers come from around New Zealand so while we still expect our numbers to be down, we are proof that
domestic tourism is hugely important.”
Graeme Abbot says tourism on the whole will take a long time to recover.Graeme Abbot
“The sector has lost millions throughout this lockdown and while Hanmer Springs is in a good place to recover, others
are not so lucky – particularly those in international visitor destinations. Clearly opening the borders will be
critical, as will taking care to ensure we keep COVID out.”
“My message for New Zealanders is simple … think kiwi. We’ve become great at online shopping and travelling overseas but
now’s a good time to think about exploring pockets of New Zealand you haven’t seen and buying from businesses in your